Many years of bicycle touring and backpacking have defined my needs and I get it all in to a single, 40n liter duffle. I am not a minimalist. That is a different type of one-bag packing, easily researched on the intertubes.
Packing list includes items worn on the plane but not toiletries
2 Royal Robbins Active Traveler shorts, gray and khaki
2 Royal Robbins Active Traveler long pants, gray and khaki
2 Degree 32 short sleeve shirts, poly, purple and blue
1 REI long sleeve t shirt, poly, gray
1 REI long sleeve 1/4 zip shirt, poly, fluorescent orange
1 old cashmere pullover sweater, purple
1 Costco merino wool sweater, mid-weight, 1/4 zip, red heather
1 set REI silk sleep wear
4 underwear, briefs, poly
1 Showers Pass waterproof sox (did not use)
2 Smartwool calf high sox
1 REI cycling sox, poly, fluorescent green
2 cotton bandanas
1 Arcade stretch belt, fluorescent orange
1 Altra Paradigm shoes, blue and gray
1 Lems Primal shoes, red
1 Eddie Bauer travel blazer, nylon, gray
1 Eddie Bauer down coat, hooded, mid-weight, red
1 Marmot rain jacket, hooded, orange
1 REI sunhat, khaki
1 Smartwool buff, orange
1 Smartwool gloves, purple
1 Blunt umbrella, orange (did not use)
1 REI rain pants, black (did not use)
1 gym shorts/swim trunks, orange (did not use, did not need)
Bags for this trip:
REI Big Haul duffle, 40 liter, fluorescent orange
Patagonia Refugio backpack, 28 liter, bright red
The REI Big Haul is an inexpensive ($90) and compact unit, ideal for one-bagging, that easily held all my stuff. The Big Haul series has absolutely no frills; simple soft duffles with flimsy shoulder straps and therefore not suitable for long portage. The Refugio easily held all of my daily carry items and needs for coach travel: munchies, water, binoculars, extra layers, and all supplies for self-contained excursions.
Your capsule wardrobe: I often see advice given, and personal preferences noted, that travelers should wear drab and dark colored clothing while visiting most of Europe. Apparently this makes you invisible. I find the rationalizations for this advice to be baseless if not complete nonsense. In Scotland, locals and visitors from all over the world wore whatever they wanted. I don’t do drab. And I fit right in. Some other countries are said to have high, perhaps even snooty, standards for fashion. That is never a problem for me.
I deliberately brought along a few items I could discard toward the end of the trip such as old short sleeve shirts, underwear, and sox.
I debated right up to the last moment to bring the travel blazer. I brought it and it turned out to be a classy splash for our three fancy dining occasions.
The set of four matched Royal Robbins bottoms allowed me to standardize on one configuration of pockets and security features. My daily carry items were always in the same locations so the pat-down became a reassuring habit. Royal Robbins makes excellent lightweight travel products. They rinsed easily and shed wrinkles if hung in the bathroom while showering.
The EB down coat was perfect for everyday wear and easily stuffed into a compact bundle when not needed.
The Marmot rain coat provided essential protection and could serve as a light coat if left open. It’s totally waterproof, no pit zips, so it needs a middle layer to help ventilate.
I did not use some rain gear items because an island excursion was canceled due to horrible weather. Had we made it to Iona, I’d have been glad for the umbrella and rain pants. Might not take the waterproof sox next time.